Eight hours a day, five days a week sitting at a desk listening to the teacher’s lecture. Students become so bored during a classroom setup like this that the only thing they are focusing on is how much time is remaining in class. This method of teaching does not allow students to grasp the lesson or get excited to learn new material. So, instead, schools should bring the lessons to life. When learning a specific subject, it would be more beneficial for students if they could further engage in what they are learning. When students have experience, they are more likely to be engaged and fully grasp the new concepts being taught to them.
Over the summer, I studied abroad in Israel for six weeks where I took two different classes. There, our teacher would briefly introduce our topic and then the next day, he would teach us our full lesson at the place he was teaching us about. For example, we went to hike Masada, a mountain in Israel, and we were taught the history of the mountain and then were able to spend the rest of the day exploring the area. With engaging lessons like these, I was fully immersed in the experience and was able to retain much more information. Rather than a boring lecture about the mountain, being told about it and then being able to explore and visualize the lesson made me more excited about learning.
Students are able to retain material better when they are engaged in hands-on activities. Experiential learning is, “The process of learning by doing. By engaging students in hands-on experiences and reflection, they are better able to connect theories and knowledge learned in the classroom to real-world situations.” Students will have a better understanding of course material which then leads to better grades and lifelong knowledge. Even though grades are important, a student with good grades will struggle in the real world with no experiences. Knowledge gained from experiences and interaction can be used for the rest of a student’s life and they are more likely to remember something they experienced than something they were told.
Some schools, however, may not be able to take students to experience what they are learning in the real world. Even if the class is not physically able to experience it within the real world, teachers can use a variety of tactics to replicate the setting within the classroom. Teachers can make experiments during class time to help students better understand the material. In an experiment, students in large classes with classroom experiments earn final exam grades that average over 7 points more on a final exam compared with a control group. This demonstrates that students react better to learning by experience, even if it remains within the four walls of the school classroom.
Overall, experience learning encourages students to enjoy learning and helps them to retain the information. When students are able to apply the material into a real world setting, it can help them understand better. A classroom setting that promotes experience learning, even within the standards of the classroom, further engages students and allows them to understand and retain the material.